Positions In Touch Rugby (Explained For Beginners)

Touch rugby is a simpler game than other forms of rugby football. You don’t need to wonder whether you’ll play as a prop, a scrum-half, a lock, or an inside center. 

There are three positions in touch rugby: wing, link, and middle. Each role is a little different in terms of skills and physical attributes.

What Are The Positions In A Touch Rugby Game?

Six players in a touch rugby team line up in three positions:

  • Two wings on each sideline
  • Two middles in the center of the field
  • Two link players between each middle and wing

You can visualize the starting positions on the pitch like this:

              Wing – Link – Middle – Middle – Link – Wing

Here is another graphical representation:

The Wing Position In Touch Rugby

The two wings stand closest to the left or right sideline.

Wing – Link – Middle – Middle – Link – Wing

If you have some speed and you like scoring points for your team, then the wing position may be for you.

What Are The Best Physical Attributes For A Wing In Touch Rugby?

The wings in touch rugby tend to be the fastest players on the team, with good acceleration and bursts of speed.

Wingers aren’t running constantly. Instead, they’re often taking the final pass and haring towards the line to touch down.

They also need some speed to run down an opposition player heading for their own line.

The Role Of The Wing Position In Attack

Wings typically finish attaching moves, hopefully touching down in the corner.

This requires good anticipation as you watch the attack play out on the field. Positioning is important. When your team member is ready to pass the ball, you need both to keep up with the play and not overrun the pass.

The Role of the Wing In Defence

Good communication is important. The wing can scan the entire field and see opposition players running a loop play. Keep talking to the players positioned further infield.

The wing will also be looking to turn defence into attack through interceptions. This is where an opposition player attempts to pass to a team-mate, and you grab and intercept the ball.

Skills To Practice As A Touch Rugby Wing

 You can start out by practicing your catching of a rugby ball when running at speed. The perfect pass is at chest height – but our team mates are often not perfect!

Wings often have to deal with low passes at your shoe-laces, balls above your head, or slightly behind you.

The Link Position in Touch Rugby

 The link is positioned between one wing and a middle.

Wing – Link – Middle – Middle – Link – Wing

Links tend to be elusive runners with good ball-handling skills.

The Physical Attributes For A Link In Touch Rugby

Elusive running in touch rugby often requires quick changes in direction while running at speed. So, a bit of agility is useful for the link position.

The Role Of The Link Position In Attack

The link position is key to attack in touch rugby. The link is often the playmaker who creates attacking opportunities for their teammates.

The Role of the Link Position In Defence

The alignment of the defense is all-important when preventing opposition scores. Players try to ensure they don’t leave overlaps and massive gaps due to being at different depths.

The role of the link is to keep the wing and middle aligned in defense.

Skills To Practice As A Link In Touch Rugby

A good link can pass accurately and at length off both hands. By both hands, I mean left-to-right and right-to-left. Most of us are naturally better in one direction and start out with weak passing on the the other side.

Passing is a skill you can practice on your own in a garden. Your aim is to hit a target at chest height.

The Middle Position In Touch Rugby

Middles may also be called centers. They start side-by-side in the middle of the field.

Wing – Link – Middle – Middle – Link – Wing

Middles are often the fitter members in the team with plenty of stamina.

The Physical Attributes For A Middle In Touch Rugby

Middles tend to do the most running while they’re on the field. This is why some level of fitness and stamina is important.

The Role Of The Middle Position In Touch Attack

Middles come into their own when the attack involves rucking the ball down the field. This is a strategy that allows teams to advance in a straight direction, forcing the opposition backward in short bursts.

The Role of the Middle Position In Touch Defence

A middle has a high workload in defense, as they have to cover both their link and the second middle. As they are so involved in defense, they tend to be the best defensive players on the team.

Skills To Practice As A Middle In Touch Rugby

We mentioned rucking, which involves both dumping and picking up the ball.

You need to be able to dump the ball correctly and pick it up without knocking it on. These are skills you can practice on your own.

Other Beginner Articles On Touch Rugby

This covers how many players are in a touch rugby team.

And this is on how to score in a touch rugby.